Binding sites for transcriptional regulation by the Myb protein have been identified in the long terminal repeats (LTRs) of the H-type human endogenous retrovirus-like elements (HERV-H). Transfection assays using reporter plasmids containing the luciferase gene under the control of a HERV-H LTR disclosed a sevenfold increase in promoter activity in human teratocarcinoma cells when cotransfected with an expression vector for the Myb protein. Binding sites for Myb were unambiguously identified within the LTR by both DNase I footprinting experiments and mobility shift assays using a bacterially expressed purified Myb recombinant protein. Possible roles of these Myb-responsive elements are discussed.


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